Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC Midday Report -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions)

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services. Malcolm Turnbull sells the Government's changes to the temporary migrant workers scheme.We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could - and should - go to Australians. Britons to go to the polls three years ahead of schedule. Australians avoid injury from a chemical attack on troops in western Mosul. Australia's booming organic industry struggles to keep its credibility against fake organic claims. Hello. Brigid Glanville with ABC News. The Prime Minister has declared that migrants must embrace Australian values as he flags more changes to the nation's immigration system. Malcolm Turnbull has been spruiking the Government's decision to abolish the 457 visa for overseas workers. Businesses who want to bring in labour will have to pay more for the privilege. And new arrivals will face a more difficult path to citizenship. Here's political reporter Stephen Dziedzic. The principles might not have changed... We are putting Australians and Australian jobs and Australian values and Australia's national interest first... .. But the Prime Minister's language on immigration has shifted. Australia must continue to attract people who will embrace our values and positively contribute, regardless of their nationality or religious beliefs.The Government announced yesterday it would scrap 457 temporary work visas and replace the program with two new, more tightly restricted visas. Most business groups have already come to terms with the changes, although some sectors are cautious.Of course we want to accept - we're willing to employ Australians. It's common sense, as we said earlier. At the moment that isn't a possibility. We hope it doesn't become more difficult in the short term and we hope the benefits long term are tangible.But the Government has set its course on immigration. There will be fewer people coming in and it will be harder for businesses to sponsor workers who want to come to Australia.The maximum age will be reduced from 50 to 45. Competent English will be mandatory, no exceptions, and the pathway to permanency will begin at three years, not two years. And the Coalition wants people to value permanent residency and it could make new applicants wait longer to get it. They'd also have to improve they'd embrace Australian values.People who come here - we expect that they integrate, that they abide by our laws, all of that, which every Australian, I think, would accept as common sense. The ALP says the Coalition's announcement is nothing but a conjob. It's crunched the numbers and says only one in ten workers currently in Australia on 457 visas would be excluded under the new system. But the broad contours and direction of this debate are clear. Immigration to Australia is becoming harder and not easier. The High Court has declared Lucy Gichuhi is free to replace Bob Day as the South Australian senator in the Federal Parliament. The court has thrown out a Labor challenge to her eligibility based on her citizenship. Joanna Crothers has more from Melbourne. The High Court declared Lucy Gichuhi as the senator for the seat of South Australia, replacing Bob Day, after lots of legal argument that was raised about questions over her citizenship. She's from Kenya and Labor's legal team raised arguments about whether she still held this Kenyan citizenship. However, a solicitor for the Commonwealth said someone
that Kenyan law states that once someone was over 21 and had taken up citizenship in another country that their Kenyan citizenship was wiped out. This is, in fact, what's happened with Ms Gichuhi's case. Labor's legal team submitted a further argument asking whether she'd done enough to denounce her Kenyan citizenship. The High Court said that this case had been going on long enough and if these arguments wanted to be raised, they perhaps should have been three months ago when it looked like lie Li that Ms Gichuhi was, in fact, going to be r selected to replace former senator Bob Day. The High Court then dismissed Labor's application to go on and argue this case and declared Ms Gichuhi as the new senator to replace Bob Day. Theresa May has called a shock snap election, saying it's the only way to deliver Britain the security and certainty it needs. Voters will go to the poll on June 8, less than a year after the controversial Brexit vote. The British Prime Minister says they wants to have the mandate to get the best deal during the negotiations to come. From London, Lisa Millar reports. It was a withle-guarded secret, barely a whisper before Theresa May delivered the stunning announcement. I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election to be held on 8 June. She had been adamant that she would not go early. The next election wasn't due until 2020. But now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take. Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union. The last general election was two years ago and it's not even 12 months since Britain voted for Brexit.Not another one! Oh, for God's sake! I can't... Honestly. I can't stand it.I'm actually quite shocked really.With everything Theresa May has been saying, I wasn't expecting anything at all but, yeah, it's just come out of the blue.Theresa May says she came to this decision only recently and reluctantly, but her backers would have told her that the stars were aligned. She's riding high in the polls and a Tory victory would give her another five years to clear any Brexit hurdles. The Opposition is weak and divided. We want to put a case out there to the people of Britain of a society that cares for all, an economy that works for all, a Brexit that works for all.Seven weeks to go until British voters deliver yet another verdict. Australian military advisers in Iraq have been caught up in an Islamic State group chemical attack outside of Mosul. It targeted a unit of Iraqi troops working with Australian and US advisers in an area outside Mosul. Here's defence reporter Andrew Greene. The task force that has been in Iraq and also operating into Syria at times has been in place for a couple of years now. It consists of 780 Australians, roughly, mostly involved in that air task group as well as the training of Iraqi forces in Task Group Taji. We have a number of Special Forces soldiers, about 80 at last count, who are part of a secretive operation to advise and assist the Iraqi military as it continues to make advances against the Islamic State group. Now, we do know that these Special Forces soldiers are currently helping in the battle to retake Mosul. We know that the coalition-led effort to help the Iraqi government forces has already recaptured the eastern part of Mosul, but there continues to be heavy fighting in the western section of that city and that's where we understand Australian forces are getting very close to the front line. They're not exactly up at the front line, but when an incident like this happens, we start to learn a bit more about precisely what's going on. Otherwise, we simply wouldn't be being told what's going on. Typically, we're learning more about the Australian forces from the Pentagon than from our own Australian military and what the Pentagon has confirmed to the ABC in recent hours is that there was a low-grade chemical attack on an Iraqi government unit, which was being assisted by both US Special Forces and Australian Special Forces. Now, subsequent to the news from the Pentagon, we have heard from the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who has told the ABC that there was no direct attack on the Australians but they subsequently, um, did help out with some assistant for the Iraqi troops. So the way the Prime Minister phrased it in the visit he'd been given was Australian forces were not affected but they did render assistance to some of the people who may have been hit by this chemical attack. Again, we don't know what sort of chemical weapon. We know ISIS has access to chlorine and mustard gas weapons. They're considered rudimentary and not sophisticated weapons. We can say the fighting is still intense in western Mosul, certainly from the reporting we get out of western Mosul - it sounds like there's still daily exchanges of even chemical weapons. There was certainly a report in the past couple of days that the Islamic State forces had tried to use chemical weapons against government troops and now we subsequently learned there was a similar attack that was targeting a group helped by the Australians. The fighting was, as we know, in the western part of the city but the eastern part took about three months to retake. Coalition efforts there were difficult but they did manage to capture the eastern part of the city. As for Raqqa, again, the fighting continues across the border in Syria and we won't expect to see those two cities fall for some time. But certainly the coalition is up-beat. It believes Islamic State is on the back foot and victory is inevitable. Just when it will happen, we're not entirely sure. We're going to take you live to the New South Wales Central Coast where Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is speaking to the media... Because there's a real problem where Australian gas is not going to Australians and Australian businesses first. Happy to take questions on this, or other matters. questions on this, or other matters.
CSR is to be congratulated for committing to expansion of the Central Coast operation. But no business can withstand 25% price increases in gas year on year and for other companies, they're facing larger increases in gas contracts. We are in a crazy situation, where, whilst we produce enough gas to meet Australian demand in electricity and manufacturing and for domestic consumers, but our problem is we are selling more of the gas that we need in Australia to export overseas, so we're not producing enough currently to meet all of our export commitments and all of our domestic demands. And when it comes for standing up for Australian jobs and Australian manufacturing, the answer is very clear - you've got to back Australia first. You've got to back Australian jobs. You've got to back Australian manufacturing. Mr Turnbull needs to be unrelenting, tough and strong to make sure these gas producers are not selling gas which belongs to Australia and Australians overseas in preference to standing up for Australian jobs. The secretary of the Department of Defence has resigned. Dennis Richardson will step down next month after almost half a century in public life. He's previously been the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ambassador to the United States, and the director-general of security. He worked in the departments of immigration and Prime Minister and Cabinet and served aspirins pal adviser to Bob Hawke in the early nipties. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised Mr Richardson -- '90s. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised Mr saying he's made a significant contribution to Australia's security and foreign policy. In Jakarta, voters head to polling stations today in one of the most bitterly fought elections the city has seen for a new governor. More than 64,000 police, soldiers and security officers have been deployed across the capital as a precaution. Indonesia correspondent Samantha Hawley joins us now live from Jakarta. Sam, how much of a security threat is there right at the moment? Well, I think given the number of police and soldiers deployed across the city, it gives a good sign that police are concerned there could be unrest following this poll today. As you mentioned, it's been bitterly fought. It's been fought largely, but not only, of course, along religious lines, along the lines that one of the, um, candidates, Ahok, the incumbent governor, is a Christian and the other is a Muslim. Now, of course, some Muslim groups have been urging Muslims in the capital not to vote for a non-Muslim leader. They say the Koran says a non-Muslim should not lead them. So this has been a bitterly fought campaign. The bulk of security that's been placed across this sprawling city would suggest to you that police are concerned but also hopeful, of course, that this will go smoothly today, and very shortly, at this polling booth in central Jakarta, the president, Joko Widodo, will arrive to cast his ballot and he has urged for calm across the city, that voters should be able to go about their democratic right without intimidation and without any obstacles placed in their way.From polling booths that you have been to today, are you getting a sense of a fear or intimidation amongst voters? Not the ones I've been to but of course there are more than 13,000 polling booths. This is a massive city. More than 7 million people are eligible to vote. The concern was that some of the members of these groups, these conservative Islamic groups, would turn up at polling booths. Police are warned against that and had also made a decision to place one police officer and one soldier at each of the polling booths, something that they didn't do during the first round, again suggesting that they are concerned about security. But so far, everything has been going smoothly. It's actually incredible that so many people in this city can vote in such a short time, Brigid. They start voting at around 7:00 and the polls close at 1:00pm, so a very short time to vote and we should have an idea, at least from exit polling, of the result by nightfall. And also, as you pensioned, there's just - in -- mentioned, just in itself in Jakarta, everyone knows how bad the traffic is. There must be a number of polling booths so people can walk to a polling booth rather than sit in the car.Well, yes. That's right. In housing streets, there are three or four polling booths. Some are just tarpaulins. The one behind me is a little bigger because the president, of course, will vote here. Traffic is not too bad today because it is a public holiday, allowing people to move around this city a bit more freely as they, I guess, exercise their democratic right, a right that they have only had for two decades and a right, I can assure you from talking to them today, that they thoroughly enjoy. Now you mentioned that, of course, this has been a tight race and largely run on religious grounds. Take us through the main points of the Christian and the Muslim candidate.Well, of course, the major problem for the incumbent governor, Ahok, who was incredibly popular for a long time, for his cleaning-up of this city, for improving infrastructure for instance, for even opening up bus lanes and ensuring only buses were in that bus lane. He's been popular for that. But of course during this campaign, a charge of blasphemy was laid against him for comments that he made about the Koran, so during this campaign he has also been appearing in the North Jakarta district court on trial for blasphemy. He faces up to five years in prison for that. Of course, his supporters and himself say that those charges are politically motivated. His opponents say they are not. But some of his opponents do say that Muslims should only vote for a Muslim leader and not a Christian. As I mentioned before. And that is why this election, for the first time, is really being fought along those lines, but of course other things as well, of course the functions of this very big, strauling city, this chaotic city, which often moves very slowly. These things come to voters minds as well but religion has played a part here.Just finally, what are the opinion polls showing?Polls are showing that this is too close to call. Opinion polling in Indonesia is notoriously unreliable, but all of the polls that have come out, pre-polling that has come out, is showing that this really is very, very close, too close to call, whether or not the exit polling shows the same things, we'll know in the hours ahead. Polls close quickly at 1:00pm local time. We'll have an idea of who may have won by nightfall.

nightfall.
Donald Trump has signed an executive order to tighten the H-1B visa program during a visit to a tool manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. He told factory workers 789 review is part of his "buy American, hire American" policy.Together we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that more products are stamped with those wonderful words "made in the USA".The President says the system is currently open to widespread abuse by undercutting local workers. But his order to review the program falls far short of a campaign pledge to end it altogether. 32 people have died and more than 20 others injured when a passenger bus plunged into a Raveen in the northern Philippines. Officials say overleading may have caused the bus to lose control. A survivor says he saw the driver stepping on malfunctioning brakes as the vehicle of speeding downhill. Transportation officials have suspended the bus line's operations as they begin an official probe into the crash. The royal commission into youth detention in the Northern Territory has resumed and will look at the evidence of former Don Dale detainee Dylan Voller. A former guard at the centre has appeared and he denied he humiliated Dylan Voller by encouraging him to perform degrading acts. Reporter Ben Millington joins us now from Darwin. Ben, what have you heard this morning?Well, Brigid, this morning we've heard from a former guard, and there were allegations he took videos and posted them to Snapchat, including daring some detainees to eat what looked like animal droppings and also using some pretty foul language to the detainees when they were trying to go to sleep or using the bathroom. Now, today, it was put to that former guard that in Dylan Voller's evidence, he says that the garden couraged him to skull a whole lot of milk and said that he would be a bad skuller and that when Dylan Voller skulled the milk, he found out that it was full of salt. He also said that the guard flicked snot into the mouth of another detainee and said that he was encouraged to eat things like shaving cream and tooth paste in order to be rewarded with chocolate and drinks. Now, um, it was put to the guard that given the previous history that's been presented to the commission of him taking videos of these types of incidents that it's not a far stretch to imagine that what Dylan Voller is saying was correct but the former guard denied these events ever occurred saying that if he did these things he would just simply admit to it but that he didn't do them and that Dylan Voller is making them up, basically.And, of course, the royal commission was sparked by... After the ABC's Four Corners program. What's been said about that today?Well, one of the incidents in that program was of two guards, one of them being the man giving evidence today and another man, Ben Kelleher, going into the cell of Dylan Voller when he was housed in the back cells in the behavioural management unit in Don Dale. Now, the lead-up to this incident - Ben Kelleher worked very closely with Dylan Voller and tried to help him, apparently, but Voller, you know, allegedly said that he would rape Ben Kelleher's children, which got him very angry and he wanted to have a talk to Dylan Voller. They went into the... He asked the other guard to go into the cell with him while this talk occurred. And Ben Kelleher went into the cell, wet tissue paper and threw it at the camera to try and possibly cover it up. This footage was seen in Four Corners. He failed to cover it and then had an aggressive conversation with Dylan Voller. The evidence we went through today was initially Conan Zamolo - the former guard - said he believed Ben Kelleher tried to clean the camera lens because detainees often covered the lens with food and other substances but in a statement tended to the commission today, he admitted that this wasn't the case, that he was dishonest the first time he talked about this and he know admits that, um, Mr Kelleher was, indeed, trying to cover the camera. It occurred to him that possibly Mr Kelleher was going to be violent towards Mr Voller, which he denied, but interestingly in his evidence today he said that he wasn't in fact - he's now note sure whether Mr Kelleher was trying to clean the camera or cover it up. So there was contradictory evidence evidence given between his statement and what he said to the commission this morning.We'll leave it there. I'm sure we'll speak again when Dylan Voller appears tomorrow. The Australian organic industry continues to grow, but it's struggling to keep up with demand both at home and overseas. Australian organic says there's huge potential for growth, but tighter labelling laws are needed to ensure fake organic claims do not damage the industry's reputation. National rural correspondent Dominic Schwarz -- Dominique Schwarz reports. This is part of a burgeoning organic industry which in Australia next year is estimated to be worth $2 billion. Over the past year, Australian Organic exports rose nearly 20% but demand still outstrips supply, both globally and here domestically. For example, the grain industry faces chronic shortages. The other major challenge is food labelling. In Australia, to sell a product as organic, you don't have to have it certified as such. Producers and processors in the industry want legislation to change that. They say this would reduce consumer confusion and protect against possible fraud. And now to finance. Here's our reporter, Alicia Barry. Alicia, a rival bidder for gaming company Tatts.Yeah, that's right, Brigid. A consortium has launched a new $7.3 billion offer for the company. It's an attempt to upend a merger that is in the work between Tabcorp and Tatts and its rival -- between Tatts and its rival Tabcorp, which is worth $11 billion. So whether or not this one succeeds is certainly going to be watched very, very closely. But as I say, certainly an attempt to, um upend that bid. And this consortium, called Pacific Consortium, has been circling the group for about 12 months with a number of failed bids, so it certainly is something that will be watched closely by the markets today. And the iron ore price is in free fall at the moment.Certainly is. It's down around 30% over the last two months and it fell another 4.8% overnight. Traders are very worried about a glut developing in China. Of course this is one of Australia's biggest commodities exports and it certainly did have a big impact on miners listed in London overnight. And to the markets, has the falling commodity price hit the markets?It certainly did initially but some of the big miners are now bouncing back. Mining and banking stocks have been weighing down the Australian share market for a second day this week. Geopolitical tensions and weaker commodity prices were the main factors keeping traders out of a buying mood. The All Ords is down around a third of a per cent now or half a per

Thanks, Alicia. A quick look at the national weather

That's ABC News for now. I'm Brigid Glanville. Thanks for watching. Captions by Ericsson Access Services.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services.

ANNOUNCER: Today at the National Press Club, the deputy leader of the Nationals, Fiona Nash, as the Minister for Regional Development, she is looking at ways to invest to secure the future of the regions particularly in partnership with local communities. Fiona Nash with today's National Press Club address.

Good afternoon and welcome to the National Press Club and today's Westpac address, I'm Chris Uhlmann and if you want to join our conversation online our hashtag is NPC and our Twitter handle is at press club aust. We talk add lot in the last year about innovation and the jobs of the future but if you